Man found guilty of aggravated burglary at laundrette in Grays

Baylees

A man has been found guilty of aggravated burglary following an incident at a laundrette in Grays.

Christopher Salvador, 31, of Hemming Way, Watford, was convicted today, Wednesday, September 19, following a trial at Basildon Crown Court.

The jury found him not guilty of possessing an imitation firearm.

Joseph Pearl, 28, of Charter Place, Watford, admitted aggravated burglary and possessing an imitation firearm at Basildon Crown Court on June 6.

Harrison Fryer, 24, and Jerome Johnson, 36, both of Charter Place, Watford, pleaded guilty to the same offences on May 30.

All four are due to be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court next month.

Michael Williams, 35, of Old Farm Park, Milton Keynes, stood trial on charges of aggravated burglary and possessing an imitation firearm. He was found not guilty of both charges today.

At around 9.45pm on Monday, December 4, 2017, Pearl, Fryer, Johnson and Paul Robertson, 39, entered the living area of a property in Southend Road armed with an imitation firearm and axes.

They shouted “armed police”, threatened four people inside -including two children – and tied a man’s hands together while holding a gun to his head.

The suspects then ransacked the property looking for cash but noticed flashing lights outside and mistakenly thought police had arrived.

Three suspects ran to a waiting van while Robertson waited upstairs holding an axe and imitation firearm.

A struggle then took place between the victim and Robertson, who died from multiple injuries.

During enquiries, the van involved was tracked from Milton Keynes to the crime scene.

Following phone work, the police arrested Johnson and Fryer on January 31 and Salvador, who helped plan the burglary in advance, on March 8.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Four men burst into the victims’ home armed with what appeared to be a gun and axes and use a high level of threats of violence towards them.

“They tied a man’s hands together, held a gun to his head and then marched him around his own home as they searched for cash. Threats were also made towards the two children.

“After being spooked, three ran to a get-away vehicle while Robertson remained with the victim, who had managed to free himself.

“A struggle then took place and Mr Robertson died of his injuries at the scene.

“This was a targeted attack with all the suspects involved in the planning of this burglary.

“I want to thank the victims for their courage during our investigation and trial, two of whom bravely gave evidence and relived their ordeal. I hope today’s outcome offers some justice to them.

“I would also like to acknowledge Paul Robertson’s wife for the dignified manner in which she has conducted herself. I know that she is devastated by what Mr Robertson did, especially towards the children.”

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